Police: ‘Person of interest’ in Va. elderly couple killing in custody

UPDATE: Wednesday – 2/27/2013, 4:24pm ET The man wanted in connection with the killing of 80-year-old Nelson Slack and his 74-year-old wife, Ethel, has been arrested, police say.

John Wesley Jeffries was taken into Fredericksburg police custody around 4 p.m. on Wednesday and is being held on outstanding warrant charges.

Earlier: Monday – 2/25/2013, 11:24am ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – Police across Northern Virginia are searching for a man with a violent history after authorities found an 80-year-old man and his 74-year-old wife dead in Fauquier County’s first double murder since the 1980s.

Deputies found Nelson and Ethel Slack, long-time residents of The Plains, dead in their home on Bunker Hill Road Sunday afternoon, according to Lt. James Hartman, a spokesman for the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office.

The Fauquier County’s Sheriff’s Office wants to talk to John Wesley Jeffries, 60, of Fredericksburg, Va. Police have identified Jeffries as a “person of interest.”

“He has some family ties to the neighborhood where the Slacks lived, and a vehicle known to be operated by Jeffries was found about a half mile from the scene,” says Hartman.

Authorities have not charged Jeffries with the Slacks’ murders. Jeffries is wanted in another case. He is charged in Spotsylvania County with kidnapping, felony strangulation and malicious wounding, Hartman says.

In the Fauquier case, family members called the sheriff’s office after the Slacks failed to show up for church Sunday, something Hartman said was unusual.

Deputies went to the Slacks home twice, Hartman says. The first time it looked as though no one was home. They then returned with a family member’s key. When the key didn’t work, they broke down the door and found the bodies around 1:15 p.m. Sunday.

Hartman says the Slacks’ car, which was taken from their home, was found in Fredericksburg, in an area Jeffries frequented.

Jeffries is considered armed and dangerous. He is described as white, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, 160 pounds, balding with gray hair and blue eyes. He is listed as a “sexually violent offender.”

Anyone who comes in contact with him is asked to call 911.

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